Parking downtown doesn't come cheap. Some days, in some lots, it could cost you $15, even $20 or more. But WOIO Chief Investigator Carl Monday found some motorists are getting a free ride.
In a hidden camera investigation, Monday and his team spent over a week undercover in the Warehouse District, where delivery trucks stack up like planes on the Hopkins Airport runway. With no place to park.
"We get pushed out into the street," said Kyle Hotchkiss, who delivers Coca Cola to bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. "The cops come up to us because we're blocking the street, but they won't ticket the cars that are in our truck zone."
He was right. Monday's team found vehicles parked in designated truck zones for hours, in some cases every day, without ever getting a ticket. And no sign of anyone making a pick-up or delivery.
The city says anyone can park in a designated truck zone for thirty minutes as long as they're loading or unloading. Or up to two hours if they're doing work at a building, like plumbing or air conditioning.
But Monday found one vehicle, a Toyota Frontrunner, sitting idle on Johnson Court on seven different days. The vehicle had truck plates, but like the others, no deliveries and no tickets.
"So how is it that you never, or rarely get a ticket?" Monday asked. The driver insisted he was parking legally.
But in an interview at city hall, the man who oversees the city's parking told Monday.
"If it's not a truck and not a delivery, he should get a ticket every day," Michael Cox, the city's Properties Director told Monday the city should be ticketing every violator. "Everybody's treated the same way. No one gets favoritism."
But across town, on Walnut near E. 9th & Chester, a delivery guy named Dominic has been cited for truck zone violations thirteen times in little over two months. And most of the time, he parked for a little over a half an hour.
The tickets cost him over $300.
"I come out after forty minutes to move my car and I got a ticket. Is that fair," asked Dominic.
Director Cox says it may not be, and says he'll follow up on the 19 Action News Investigation.
"If there's an enforcement issue that we need to deal with," promises Cox, "And if I know of that issue, I'll make sure we're doing it. And doing it equally. Applying the law across the board."